Looking for nearby things to do with the youngsters in your life? Here are some ways parents and grandparents can keep kids active, entertained and happy during summer vacation.
Huntington Park in Newport News
Yorktown in York County
Gloucester Point (across from Yorktown)
Buckroe in Hampton
Newport News Park and fishing piers at Hilton Elementary School, Denbigh Park, Lee Hall Reservoir, Harwoods Mill and Peterson's Yacht Basin in Newport News; 886-7912.
James River Bridge Fishing Pier in Newport News (privately managed); 247-0364.
Sandy Bottom Nature Park in Hampton; 825-4657.
Ocean View Fishing Pier in Norfolk; 583-6000 or www.oceanview fishingpier.com.
Pier on Water Street (at bottom of Comte de Grasse Street) in Yorktown (no fee or license required because York County pays for it).
Note: Virginia requires fresh- and saltwater-fishing licenses for ages 16 and up (12 and up for nonresidents in freshwater). Admission to a fishing pier generally covers that licensing requirement. For more details about regulations and places to fish along the Chesapeake Bay, visit www.baydreaming.com/fishing.htm.
MUSEUMS AND MORE
Busch Gardens, www.buschgardens.com
Children's Museum of Portsmouth, www.childrens-museum.org
Jamestown Settlement, www.historyisfun.org
Mariners' Museum, www.mariner.org
Norfolk Botanical Garden (kids garden), www.norfolkbotanicalgarden.org
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (kids garden), www.lewisginter.org
Virginia Living Museum, www.thevlm.org
Virginia Aquarium, www.virginiaaquarium.com
Virginia Zoo, www.virginiazoo.org
Water Country, www.watercountryusa.com
Yorktown Victory Center, www.historyisfun.org
PARKS & TRAILS
GloucesterBeaverdam Park. Three trails of varying lengths border a lake and habitats. Restrooms. www.gloucesterva.info/pr/homepage.htm or 804-693-2107.
HamptonSandy Bottom Nature Park. Several mile-long trails meandering along wetlands, lake and woodland areas. Restrooms, nature center. Big Bethel Road and Hampton Roads Center Parkway. www.hampton.gov/sandybottom or 825-4657.
Isle of Wight Nike Park. Walking trail. Nike Road; 357-2291
James City CountyFreedom Park. Walking trails. Centerville Road; 259-5360.
Greensprings Interpretive Trail. Three-mile hiking trail begins at parking lot behind Jamestown High School. Part of Virginia Birding Trail. John Tyler Highway (Route 5). www.james-city.va.us/recreation/index.html or 259-5360.
York River State Park. More than 25 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails. Exit 231B off Interstate 64. www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/yor.shtml or 566-3036.
Newport NewsNoland Trail. Five-mile trail along the shoreline of Lake Maury at The Mariners' Museum; 14 bridges, picnic areas, benches, handicap access. www.mariner.org or 591-7739
Newport News Park. More than 30 miles of trails. Restrooms, picnic areas. Jefferson Avenue/Fort Eustis Boulevard. www.nnparks.com or 886-7912.
SuffolkCitywide. More than 10 parks offer walking trails. www.suffolk.va.us/parks/ or 514-7250.
Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. 4½-mile Washington Ditch Trail and elevated 1-mile wooden Dismal Town Boardwalk Trail. Exit 13A Suffolk off I-664 from I-64. www.fws.gov/northeast/greatdismalswamp or 986-3705.
York CountyNew Quarter Park. Nine scenic hiking/walking trails, plus family walk/bike path. Restrooms, picnic shelter. Adjacent to Queen's Lake neighborhood off Colonial Parkway. www.yorkcounty.gov/parksandrec/index.html or 890-3500 or 220-3653.
Yorktown. Approximately one-mile paved walkway along scenic waterfront, followed by 4½ miles along historic Yorktown. Ice cream shop nearby. www.yorkcounty.gov/tourism
WilliamsburgCity walks. A booklet called "Great City Walks" provides maps and details for loops around the city. Buy the $2 booklet at the Williamsburg Municipal Building on Lafayette Street or Colonial Williamsburg Visitors Center Bookstore. www.visitwilliamsburg.com to download a copy.
Historic Area. One-mile walk from Merchants Square along Duke of Gloucester Street to the Capitol. Kids can watch gardeners demonstrate 18th-century planting techniques at the Colonial Nursery on Duke of Gloucester Street. www.history.org
BOAT RENTALSNewport News Park, Newport News; 886-7912.
Sandy Bottom Nature Park, Hampton; 825-4657.
Beaver Dam Park, Gloucester; 804-693-2107.
In addition, check out: Story hour at public libraries; Vacation Bible School at churches; YMCA and boys and girls club camps and events; and workshops and field trips at area museums.
For rainy, humid-hot days: Schedule indoor museum trips, movies, library visits and crafts for the days when outdoor activities are not what you want to do.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times